“Chico and Rita” trailer “Chico and Rita” trailer
Feature Film

“Chico and Rita” trailer

2D is not dead – at least as far as the independent animated features are concerned. Opening in the UK this November is Chico and Rita from Spanish filmmaker Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque). Six years in the making, the film follows a pianist who pursues his true love, a Hollywood-bound nightclub singer, from Havana to New York and beyond. 93-year-old pianist-composer-bandleader Bebo Valdés wrote and performs the music and the film features “musical cameos” from Chano Pozo, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and other jazz greats. Here’s a brief trailer:

  • Awesome! just for that fact that it is a refreshing premise! American animated film producers: take notice!!

  • Butternut

    It’s pretty obvious from all the posts that you do that 2D features aren’t dead. Why the hyperbole? I’d expect such a comment from the mainstream media, not from a site tha covers animation 24/7 and knows better.

  • It is good to see that the trailer is finally out.
    Me and my friend Robert Sprathof produced animation and cleanup of an entire chase sequence for Sergio Pablos’s studio Animagic.
    The cleanup was kind of difficult because it had to be done with pen instead of pencil.

    I hope the movie does well.

  • Character design: ugly. Animation: stiff, rotoed and lifeless. Vehicles: Maya? A minute and a half is more than enough.

    • Deaniac

      Would you rather have some generic pop-culture laden CGI Dreamworks crap?

      Didn’t think so.

      • victoria

        I myself would rather have neither if there is such a choice

      • Deaniac

        Well, that WASN’T a choice. Honestly I thought people here would be happy that people still care about traditionally animated films in a current media industry full of CGI. But if all you can do is sit behind your monitor and make snarky remarks, then I feel sorry for you.

  • blarghgh

    Speaking of 2d animation not being dead, here’s a feature 2d film from France you seem to have missed on the brew, it came out last year I think. It’s based on a series of shorts called Lascars, which had some pretty goodlooking episodes. The designs are reminiscent of stuff you might currently see come out of the Gobelins school. Even though the film is clearly low budget – a budget that only seems to have affected some backgrounds and the fluidity of the animation – they more than make up for it by being creative, fun and inventive with the drawings.

    The trailer doesn’t do it justice though, the animation is a lot more fun in the film. There’s also a bunch of mini-trailers presenting only the characters on Youtube.


    • I second that. Lascars is a fine feature film, done in a refreshing style and telling a really funny story with great characters.

    • Ani

      Jazz and Animation always go well together in my opinion http://www.facebook.com/ChicoAndRita

  • Look great and works as a romantic homage to the jazz age!

  • Surprised you didn’t credit Mariscal in your post.

    He’s practically the Schulz of Spain and one of the world’s greatest cartoonists.

  • I saw it at TIFF. The filmmakers were there too–they did an introduction and Q&A. I liked them; they were articulate, funny, and genuine. But as for the film, I’m disappointed to say I thought was only mediocre. The script was formulaic and predictable. I think this film will get more attention than it deserves because it’s animated, but sadly, the animation was bland and unimaginative. I know not everything has to look like Pixar, in fact I prefer 2D, the more stylized the better. I went into this hoping for something like Kirikou & The Sorceress or Sita Sings the Blues but I spent the whole movie wondering why they chose animation over live action. The only answer I could think of was animation made it easier to make because it was a period piece with a lot of cameos by famous dead people. That’s not a good reason. They didn’t take advantage of the things only animation could do. It looked like they wanted to make it as live action as possible. It looked traced–the characters were obviously rotoscoped, which the filmmakers acknowledged. There were a lot of shots of musicians playing and they said they wanted the playing to be accurate. Well the broad movements were, sure, but fingers weren’t moving right. My feeling is if you can’t be 100% accurate why go for kinda close? I much prefer how the musicians were animated in Fantasia 2000’s Rhapsody in Blue or Samurai Jack or Looney Tunes–those cartoons have a life that Chico & Rita never captured. What I did like were: 1) the backgrounds–they looked hand drawn and the lines and colours were full of personality, and 2) the music. I learned in the Q & A they got musicians to play in the style of the greats portrayed onscreen and it worked well. So… great music, mediocre story, uninspired animation. I’m glad I saw it, but I can’t recommend it.

    • perhaps the animation could have been spiced up a bit, added a few accents here. some overshoots there.
      Make the characters flow with the music.

  • doop

    Wow, looks vibrant and new! Maybe a little to roto-ed for my taste, but I’m excited to see it.

  • I wonder if the makers of this film know that “Chikorita” is a name of a Pokémon.

  • Mac

    I really enjoyed the character design, colors and music of this trailer. Can’t wait to check it out. Looks better than 90% of the animated features these days – plus looks to have an engaging story (for once).

  • I really like the backgrounds, they remind me of the Triplets of Bellville. I also like how they texture mapped the 3D to match the BG style.

    It does feel Rotoscoped, but I still happy to see another indy feature.

  • Yeah, looks a bit formulaic, and animation is a but dull, but it’s refreshing to see more subject matter like this in the animated film world. The music sounds great though, I’m sure it plays a big part through the film and seems really strong. Congrats to the filmmakers and their team for creating this!

  • Aww! Even the trailer made me tear up! ^_^
    I am so going to see this! It looks gorgeous, and the soundtrack rocks!

  • Doodyville 101

    That sounds like an awesome movie!!! I love the music and the animation looks fabulous! DEFINITELY something I’d go see!

  • Looks awesome and so full of promise! More power to such ventures! Love the design BTW.

  • TJR

    Awesome! I hope to see this in the US if only as a rental

  • HC

    LA Premiere

    Sunday, November 7, 2010 7:00 pm
    Egyptian Theatre
    6712 Hollywood Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90028
    (323) 461-2020

    Get your free tickets at http://www.afifest.com starting October 28th.

    For technical details about the production visit




    and read the Toonboom article here


    The music is up on SoundCloud



  • OP

    You wrecked minds. Sexist (lingering naked female shots, no naked male shots). Racist (the ‘beauty’ looks like all the rest bust with blue eyes) the worst animation since a picture and no story line.

  • OP

    You wrecked minds. Sexist (lingering naked female shots, no naked male shots). Racist (the ‘beauty’ looks like all the rest but with blue eyes) the worst animation since a picture and no story line.

  • Richard Gadd

    Finally caught this this week. Plot – somewhat cliched – serviceable but adequate. The animation is really nice though – and the way the background work is integrated with the character animation is done really well (although very different films, that part of it remided me of Lascars). Where it really scores however is the use of misic. The whold film is set around the cuban input into the bebop scene at the end of the 40s – and this is so well recreated and forms the heart of the film. If you have any interest in that era Jazz then this is the film for you.

  • Dave O.

    I saw this at the NY Latino Film Festival last week. It stinks! Characters have two or three expressions and the rotoscoping is distracting. Servicable art direction, but nothing mind-blowing. Nice to see Latinos up on screen, but this movie is guilty of reverting to stereotype where it should have had good storytelling.